Fall River repeat offender sentenced for breaking into homes

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NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — A Fall River man with prior convictions for robberies will once again go behind bars for breaking into homes in Swansea, Somerset and New Bedford.

Gregory Silverhus, 52, pleaded guilty to multiple charges of breaking and entering, receiving stolen property (3 counts), larceny from a building (2 counts), possession of “burglarious” tools, and assault and battery on a police officer. The plea was “unagreed,” in that the prosecution asked for a six- to nine-year prison sentence, but the defendant asked for just six years, according to Gregg Miliote, a spokesman for the office of Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III.

Judge Rafi Yessayan sentenced Silverhus to a term between six years and six years and one day in state prison, followed by two years of supervised probation.

Silverhus was connected to two break-ins in early February 2014 after he was arrested on I-195 on the Westport/Dartmouth line, in a vehicle with New Hampshire license plates. He’d been driving erratically and was arrested for operating under the influence, state police said. Inside the car were numerous items stolen from homes on Wilder Street in Swansea and Alden Place in Somerset. Jewelry, perfume, a computer, cash and more had been stolen. Neighbors in Swansea had told police a vehicle with New Hampshire license plates had been driving around the area before the break-in.

While he was free on bail, Miliote said, Silverhus broke into a home on Plainville Road in New Bedford on May 2, 2015. When police got there, they found a door wide open and saw Silverhus wheeling a mountain bike out of the garage.

He dropped the bike, ran back into the house and into the backyard. Officers shot him with a stun gun to disable him, but once they removed one of the shock probes from his buttocks, Silverhus kicked a police sergeant’s inner leg and shin.

Silverhus was previously convicted of eight crimes related to robbery. In 2007, he served a four-to-five year state prison sentence on a similar case of breaking and entering.

“This defendant is a career criminal who belongs in jail for as long as possible,” District Attorney Quinn said in a news release.

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